Swim, Shark, Swim
CSIRO Publishing, 2022
32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
The sun shines down on the West Australian ocean, highlighting the shape of a blacktip reef shark just below the surface. But when a boat drops a net the shark knows he has to “open a tunnel of bubbles and swim, Shark, SWIM.”
And off he goes, on a trip around the world searching for the place he calls home, meeting other sharks and sea creatures during the journey, some friendly and others, not-so.
While blacktips do not normally migrate as this one does, it offers an opportunity for readers to meet various species of sharks around the world, sharks which , as the apex predators, keep the ocean waters in balance by helping maintain the diversity rather than the dominance of one creature. With lyrical text and arresting illustrations, young readers can learn to respect the creatures of the deep and unknown rather than fearing them because their only knowledge is sensational news stories, scary movies and sinister music. Building knowledge through information rather than imagination develops understanding much more effectively.
Accompanied by comprehensive teachers’ notes for Years 2-5 that will build an even greater understanding of the planet’s different marine habitats, their inhabitants and their particular characteristics, this is a book that celebrates the natural world and encourages students to delve deeper than the surface. Makes me wish I was still allowed to dive – so many of my hours have passed well below the sun’s sparkle and I miss it.